Week-long Christian convention will be inaugurated today

The riverbed of Pampa, at Maramon near Kozhencherry, has been readied for the 116th Maramon Convention, which begins on Sunday. Mar Thoma Metropolitan Joseph Mar Thoma will inaugurate the week-long meet, billed as Asia's largest annual Christian religious meet, at 2.30 p.m. on Sunday. The Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association (MTEA) is organising the meet.

Philipose Mar Chrysostum, senior Metropolitan of the Church, will deliver the benedictory address. Zacharias Mar Theophilus Saffragan Metropolitan, MTEA president, will preside and N. Barney Pityana, evangelist from South Africa, will deliver the keynote address.

Arrangements

MTEA, in association with the local parishes of the Mar Thoma Church in Maramon and Kozhencherry, has constructed a large thatched shed which can accommodate one lakh people. The local parishes supplied men and materials to construct the shed.

The departments of Police, Health, Fire and Rescue Force and Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will open temporary out-posts at Maramon from Sunday. The KSRTC will operate special services to Maramon from Chengannur, Thiruvalla, Mallappally, Pathanamthitta and Ranni from February 15 to 22. All KSRTC buses will stop at Nedumprayar junction during the convention period. Kerala State Electricity Board Executive Engineer Prasannakumar said the board would ensure uninterrupted power supply to the convention venue. The Health authorities would deploy a mobile medical care unit at Maramon. Kerala Water Authority too has made arrangements for uninterrupted supply of drinking water to the venue.

MTEA general secretary Fr C.K. Mathew said the Mar Thoma Sevika Sanghom, Department of Sacred Music and Communications, various missionary units and social service agencies attached to different dioceses of the Church and the Bible Society of India would open their stalls at Maramon.

Bible classes

Bible classes will be held for men and women at the convention venue from 7.30 a.m. to 8.30 a.m. from February 14 to 19. There will be three sessions of religious discourses at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. from February 14 to 20.

Archbishop Roger Herft from Austria, Rev. Canon Peter Maiden from England, Rev Ulf G. Ekman from Sweden and R. Rajkumar from New Delhi will address the religious meet.

Ecumenical meet

An Ecumenical meet will be held at 10 a.m. on February 16 and a meet against social evils, in the afternoon. “Where are you? Where is your brother?” has been selected the theme of this year's convention. The meet will end on February 20.